April 16, 2019

Genocide Ideology Now Manifested Verbally, Much Less In Actions

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This suspect Rukundo Assouman was rearrested again after he confronted a genocide survivor saying: “I’ll kill you so that you follow ur relatives”. He was found guilty in 2016 over similar actions, was released under presidential pardon in September 2018 together with 2,139 others

A small number of suspects arrested during the 25th anniversary commemoration period were found to have destroyed property or physical attacks on genocide survivors.

There are 72 suspects that are in detention awaiting prosecution for engaging in genocide related acts, says the Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB), after end of the week-long commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

However, the vast majority of those arrested are suspects who made verbal statement like threatening genocide survivors or demeaning comments, according to RIB.

The other unusual aspect identified among the suspects is that all are illiterate or have very minimal formal education, said Modeste Mbabazi, the spokesman of RIB.

For previous commemoration periods or Kwibuka, many of the suspects were found to be literate people with a considerable level of formal education.

Many of the suspects made inappropriate comments in communal places bars. Some individually confronted genocide survivors.

For the same period last year, 114 people were arrested – indicating a nearby 39% drop in genocide ideology cases this year.

The eastern province has 27 cases, 25 in the southern, while only 3 in the Western province. The north had 7, whereas there were 10 cases in Kigali.

Local officials have also reported nationwide that the attendance at commemoration events was much higher this year compared to previous years – perhaps indication that the modifications made to Kwibuka period worked.

There were only two days reserve for village community meetings during the entire commemoration week, as opposed to all the seven days previously. There was also no coercion or force used for people to come to the meetings.

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